- In the event that an employer warns employees of an individual’s threat of violence, the employer could be liable for defamation if the employer is subsequently proved to be mistaken. The employer can minimize this liability by conducting a prompt investigation of all allegations and by notifying only those individuals who have a need to know of the risk.
- An employee terminated for having violent tendencies could file a wrongful discharge suit against the employer if the employee disputes his employer’s characterization. A thorough investigation of complaints against an employee should be conducted prior to termination. Employers should consider suspension of the employee with pay while the charges are being investigated. The employer might also consider offering the employee a chance to resign as an alternative to termination.
- The employer must respect the privacy rights and confidentiality rights of employees during any investigation.
Note: The above list of legal obligations is not meant to be comprehensive. To find out more about the requirements in your state, refer to your state’s department of labor.
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